If you’re in the market for an engagement ring and you live in the New York City area, then you need look no further than the 47th Street Diamond District for a jewelry shopping experience like no other.
What is the NYC Diamond District?
The Diamond District is the area of West 47th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. It is one of the most unique New York City attractions. The entire street is lined with jewelry stores and diamond vendors. Thousands of diamond rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings shimmer in the windows of the stores.
Whether you are looking for a specific ring, or you are interested in generating ideas for an engagement ring, the NY Diamond District can help. Hundreds of salespeople are eager to find the perfect ring for you.
When I was shopping for an engagement ring, I went to the Diamond District with a hand-drawn sketch I had created of the ring my girlfriend wanted. I showed the sketch to a salesman, who sent his co-worker out onto the street to find a similar setting. Within minutes he returned with exactly the ring that I had in mind. It was pretty incredible. I was so amazed by how similar the ring was to my sketch, that I almost questioned if some sort of trickery was happening. In the end, no cons were being pulled on me, and I had the perfect ring for my proposal.
Why Shop for an Engagement Ring in the Diamond District?
Often, a local jewelry store will only have sample rings and stones in stock, or they may show you that the majority of the rings they offer can be browsed in a catalog or online. The expectation is that you choose one of the samples, and then the jeweler will order the ring for you. You will hand over a lot of money, leave the store empty-handed, and wait days or weeks for the ring to arrive. Placing an order for one of the largest purchases of your life without even holding the item in your hand is a scary proposition.
In the Diamond District, tens of thousands of rings are sitting in the stores. When you find the ring you want, you are holding the actual ring you will own, not a sample. You can even walk out of the store with the ring the very same day.
Tips While Shopping in the Diamond District
- Don’t Be Intimidated: Ask questions and find a salesperson who you feel comfortable with. They are there to help you, not scare or pressure you.
- Ask What the Cash Price Is: If you pay with cash, you can sometimes avoid paying the hefty sales tax.
- Go Early in the Day: There are so many rings to browse, that you will want ample time to shop. You do not want to be rushed into a decision as the store is closing for the day.
- Negotiate No Matter What: The price tag is never non-negotiable. Even the sales price could be talked down. Put on your best poker face and start haggling.
- Get a Sales Receipt: No matter how you pay, get a receipt and appraisal certificate if applicable.
Diamond Mining in the Diamond District
To give you one final idea about how impressive the Diamond District is, consider this: There are so many diamonds and jewels moved through the Diamond District each day that one man devotes his time to scouring the dirty sidewalks and street for diamond dust, platinum, gold, and diamonds that have fallen to the ground. He operates bended on hands and knees for hours searching for minuscule amounts of precious stones. It’s amazing that he can actually find valuable material consistently.
Even if you are not in the market for a new piece of jewelry, consider visiting the Diamond District just to see the incredible amount of diamonds.
The Diamond District hours vary by store, but most stores are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
If you have been there before, what advice do you have for shopping in the Diamond District? Let us know in the comments.
Read the Guys Guide to Proposing Marriage eBook for more information about how to choose an engagement ring.